There’s a time for playing it safe and a time for…..
Studio: Warner Bros Release :::::::::: Date: 5th August 1983
Director: Paul Brickman :::::::::: Starring: Tom Cruise, Rebecca De Mornay
Budget: $6.2M :::::::::: 2015 Equivalent: $14.9M
U.S Box Office: $63.5M :::::::::: 2015 Equivalent: $152.7M
Joel Goodson is on the verge of graduating from high school, with thoughts of attending Princeton, like his father. Left alone for a few days while his parents are away, Joel inadvertently gets involved in a one night stand with a call girl named Lana. But after his father's Porsche ends up in Lake Michigan, Joel needs the help of Lana, and her friends to raise the money to get it fixed before his folks return. Joel is about to find out more about life and business than he could ever learn in college.
Paul Brickman made Tom Cruise a star back in the early 1980s, yet his name is one that is all but forgotten nowadays. It's not unusual for a first time director to strike gold and go on to bigger things as result. In fact, in recent years, even a minor hit can secure a director a major picture deal, something to which the likes of Marc Webb and Colin Trevorrow can attest. Yet Brickman would do the opposite - while Cruise and Risky business were blazing a trail back in the late summer of 1983, he chose to turn his back on the offers and money, and seemingly fade away.
Paul Brickman was born in 1949, the son of comic strip artist Morrie Brickman, and showed a flair for the arts from a young age. After graduating, he found work as a story analyst and camera assistant, but soon added scriptwriting to his resume. His first produced work was The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training (1977) the sequel to the well received Walter Matthau/Tatum O'Neal baseball comedy. He donned an associate producers hat for his next screenplay, the Jonathan Demme directed Handle with Care (AKA Citizen's Band). Like many scriptwriters, it wasn't long before Brickman became disenchanted with the way his work was being handled by others and he realised that the only way to change that was to get out of the game or do the job himself. He wanted to make a film with humour and style all of its own - something that a high school version of himself would want to see.
With Ronald Reagan in power and the early excesses of the 1980s already rearing their heads, Brickman had some basis for his script. He hired a cabin in the middle of nowhere, and, spurned on by seeing his friends switching from Philosophy to Business degrees, began to write White Boys off the Lake. By the end of the first week he was sure the idea was a great one. By the second he was still confident, but by the third he wasn’t sure any of it was good, and ended up finding a producer to help him decide.
He would later claim the script was his reaction to The Graduate and an effort to show the darker side of capitalism. The final lines of the screenplay were actually the first ones Brickman wrote, and he'd use them when it came to pitching the idea to various studios, now aided by producers Jon Avnet and Steve Tisch. Despite their best efforts, no one was interested in what had now been titled Risky Business. As was the time, studios wanted another Porky's, another sex romp; they weren't interested in a serious script from what would be a first time director, especially with no major star attached. However, when a friend passed the manuscript on to music producer David Geffen, they finally found an interested party who would be willing to give them both the money and the time to do the material justice. The Geffen Company, the film production arm, was still in its early days with only Robert Towne's Personal Best on its books, but David was willing to give Brickman a shot at directing. He also encouraged him not to rush into casting and that he would know the right person for the lead when he saw him.
Brickman certainly took the statement to heart as casting on Risky Business stretched to almost a year. Producer Jon Avnet knew that the success of the film lay in the chemistry of the two leads, and during that period they auditioned a veritable who's who of Hollywood talent - both upcoming and established. Timothy Hutton was actually their first choice to play Joel Goodson but turned the offer down. Tom Hanks, Nicolas Cage and John Cusack all tested and at one point, Brian Backer was said to have been cast as the lead, as was Kevin Anderson. The female lead was equally as tough to cast. Kim Basinger and Sharon Stone both tried out for the part, the former apparently turning down the offer. Diane Lane was also interested, having been handed the script while working on The Outsiders, but her father forbid her from playing 'a twenty-something hooker'.
Rebecca De Mornay came into the casting process early on but was dismissed; partly it would seem due to a lack of experience - she had had one very minor role in Francis Ford Coppola's One From The Heart. Brickman and the producers continued to see others for the role and ended up coming back to De Mornay at around the same time they saw an upcoming actor called Tom Cruise. At this point casting had been going on for many months, and most of the other parts had been filled - indeed according to Andrew Morton's account of the casting process in his book on Cruise, Kevin Anderson and Megan Mullally had been tentatively cast in the lead roles and had tested against other cast members (Mullally would end up with a blink and you'll miss it cameo) but Brickman still auditioned others as he wasn't sold on the leads.
Curtis Armstrong, who made his feature debut on the picture, had the part of best friend Miles nailed the second he walked in and consequently found himself playing against many of the prospective male leads. Armstrong had impressed the producers immediately, and would later explain he based his character on someone he knew very well in high school. Similarly, Bronson Pinchot would make his film debut on Risky Business, and also came with his character all mapped out. Brickman stated in a 2014 interview that having Armstrong and Pinchot be so perfect right off the bat helped him immensely, as everything else was chaotic.
Tom Cruise had gotten into acting during school. As a result of his family moving a great number of times, the young Cruise attended fourteen different schools in fifteen years. As a result of always being the new kid, he threw himself into sports to help boost his popularity, excelling at almost every one he tried out for. By fourth grade he had gotten into drama and music, appearing in an improvised ensemble piece called IT. As a result of an injury picked up during a wrestling match, Cruise tried out for roles in Godspell and Guys & Dolls, and soon swapped sports for acting full time. His first on-screen credit was a bit part in the romantic drama Endless Love, which he followed up with a memorable turn as Cadet Captain David Shawn in Taps, opposite Timothy Hutton. He then landed the part of Steve Randle in Francis Ford Coppola's The Outsiders. It was while working on that picture that he received the script for Risky Business (according to Diane Lane, it was Cruise who also gave her the script and suggested she try out for Lana).
Brickman wasn't sold on the actor based on his killer role in Taps, and when he dropped by the office still in his Outsider's garb of greased back hair, fake tattoos and a greyed-out tooth, he was even more convinced Cruise wasn't right for the part. They did a short read through but as the actor told Cameron Crowe in a 1986 article for Interview magazine, he was terrible at doing a cold read of a script. Brickman dismissed the actor but Cruise asked if they could start again from the top, which allowed him to trying something different. Before long they'd worked through half of the script. Cruise went back to filming on The Outsiders but returned to Los Angeles to audition again, and met the then already-cast Rebecca De Mornay. Brickman wanted to see if the duo had chemistry but due to actor's commitment to The Outsiders, there was little time to do a screen test - Cruise flew in at 1am and needed to back in Tulsa by 10pm that night. This is how Paul Brickman found himself outside Tom Cruise's apartment block at 5am. The actor was running late and the director was about to give up when he finally emerged (He joked later that history could have been quite different had he not waited those extra five minutes).
They assembled at producer Steve Tisch's house. Cruise was still heavily built for his current role, but was now wearing a 'preppy' Adidas shirt and his hair was no longer slicked-back. His chemistry with De Mornay was apparent instantly. She could confidently boss him around, while he played both cool and naive to a tee. What impressed Brickman the most was when Cruise asked for the chance to replay scenes so that he could try out different things with his character. By the end of the screen test, no one was in any doubt that they had found their leads. The only remaining obstacle was Cruise's bulked up Outsider's frame. The producers told him he'd got a good shot at the part if he could slim down. Once work on the Coppola movie was completed, the actor lost 14 pounds thanks to jogging every day, and went on a strict diet. Once he'd reached his goal, he stopped exercising and went back to eating normally to add on a layer of puppy fat.
As for the rest of the casting, Nicholas Pryor took on the part of Joel's father, with Janet Carroll portraying his mother. For the character of Guido the killer pimp, Brickman wanted someone with weasel-like qualities. He found them in Joe Pantoliano, an actor who to that point had mixed TV movie work with appearances in a number of televisions shows, including M.A.S.H and Free Country. However, as Brickman would shortly find out, not everyone was happy with Pantoliano's casting.
A summer 1982 shoot was planned in and around Highland Park, Illinois (the director's old stomping ground) with Warner Bros. putting up the $6.2M budget. The cast had a rare luxury afforded to them by its director, similar to that given to the cast of Fright Night by Tom Holland. A week before the shoot was set to commence, Cruise, Armstrong and co. all assembled in Illinois to read through and rehearse the script. More than that, Brickman wanted them to hang out and bond as if they'd grown up and attended school together. He hoped this would make the cast more relaxed around each other and more believable to the audience. However, while the budget stretched to rehearsals, it didn't cover clothing, hotel costs or a travel allowance, meaning the majority of the actors had to supply their own outfits and foot their own bills.
While Brickman may have been making his directorial debut on the picture, he had a crystal clear vision for how he wanted it to look and sound - right down to character movements for some shots (according to Curtis Armstrong). But this exacting nature would make the shoot a somewhat difficult one and push the already tight budget to its limits. The director wanted Risky Business to have a style quite different to other teen movies, and was heavily influenced by Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Conformist. Once shooting got under way it became clear that Brickman and the cinematographer were going to have issues. Direction was ignored, shots were lit differently to how requested and anything out of the norm was dismissed as being too much work. He was soon replaced by Reynaldo Villalobos, who gelled more with the director's vision. However, commitments to another picture saw him leave during production, to be replaced by Clint Eastwood's cinematographer, Bruce Surtees (the duo had worked together on seven films at that point).
A number of sequences caused the cast and crew a headache, magnified by Brickman's attention to detail. The first sex scene between Joel and Lana was a comedy of errors. It was meant to be dream-like - the doors would open and Lana would enter, with wind blowing leaves into the room. In reality, the first attempt saw the leaves flop onto the floor in a pile. The second run through was the opposite, with leaves (and the cast's hair and clothes) flying everywhere. Much more adjustment was required before the shot could be completed. For Joel's iconic sunglasses, Cruise and Brickman ended up at a local opticians during a break for lunch after the costume department could offer nothing suitable. The budget barely stretched to two pair. After the film's release, the Ray-Ban Wayfarers he wore become a best seller for the company, helping revive its fortunes in the process.
The Porsche sequence, in which Joel desperately tries to stop his father's car from rolling into a lake, caused more problems. A perfect location had been found but it took Jon Avnet four months to convince the city to let them shoot there. When permission was finally granted, they were given just three nights in which to get the entire sequence. While the location was being prepared, shooting on other scenes was taking place elsewhere. When the producer arrived on set he discovered to his horror that the fake dock had been built in the wrong place. It turned out that the production designer had taken it upon himself to set up the shot (which included the fake dock) in a different area because it allowed for the cityscape to be visible in the background.
The problem was this new location had no incline, so there was no way for them to shoot the Porsche slowly rolling away. Brickman was distraught when called to set, but having spent so long getting permission, Avnet refused to give in. He had three different crews, working for 24 hours to rebuild the dock in the proper location. The bad weather saw them unable to shoot for two of the three nights, meaning all the shots (including the dock collapse) had to be achieved on that final evening. In what would become a trademark of his career, Cruise did his own stunts, stumbling in front of the car to try and stop it, then jumping onto the bonnet as it came to a stop at the end of the dock. A diver had carefully worked to remove pins in the construction but as they only had one shot at it, they had no way of knowing if it would collapse on cue. More worrying was what would happen to the film's star when the dock and car fell into the water. For one of the few times during the shoot, luck was on its side - the car, Cruise and what was left of the dock, crashed into the water perfectly.
True to his word, David Geffen supported the project but after a visit to the set, he wasn't happy with Joe Pantoliano's performance. Over dinner with Paul Brickman that night, he strongly expressed his concerns and stated he wanted Pantoliano off the movie. The director refused to let him go; Geffen repeated his statement, and once again was met with refusal. They went back and forth for some time before Geffen eventually gave up. He received no further interference, though did go on to state that Geffen (or his people) supplied him with copious production notes, most of which he ignored. Unbeknownst to Brickman, in a few short months he'd be fighting tooth and nail with Geffen and Warner Bros. over the picture. In an interesting aside, Jon Avnet revealed in a 2013 interview that Pantoliano and Geffen had had words during the set visit, and it was for that reason, and not for his performance, that the mogul wanted him gone. [When questioned, Avnet declined to comment on what had actually been said].
There'd be one final difficult sequence that would cause issues for the cast and crew - the L-train love scene. The setup was in the script and during an extended dinner, Avnet and Brickman came up with the bizarre idea of using green screen to have the train come off the tracks and fly over the city as the couple make love. Rough footage was shot but it became evident almost straight away that it was completely laughable and simply didn't work. The pair joked on the DVD commentary that had it been used in the finished film, neither of them would have worked again. In the end the production secured the use of an actual train for the shot and planned to film as it was being driven. Their window was extremely limited - they had the train (and the track loop) from 1am to 5am, and in that time they'd need to set up, get the shot and clear out before the public began to arrive. They hit a snag straight away when they realised that none of their equipment was weighted down. The train began to move and everything toppled over. Unable to reverse back to the station to reset, they had to wait for the train to complete a full loop before starting again.
When they actually began filming, Cruise and De Mornay had trouble getting into the moment. However, according to comments made in Andrew Morton's unauthorized biography, Brickman stated "It was hard to get them started, but it was harder to get them to stop". By now their time was up and they still hadn't completed all the shots. Filming past their 5am deadline, early morning commuters were greeted by the sight of a single carriage slowly passing through their station with a naked Tom Cruise and Rebecca De Mornay simulating sex. The entire sequence took six weeks to stitch together during the editing process, partly because of the methods of the time, but also because of a strobe effect used to give the sequence its dream-like quality (Something Avnet suggested, having seen it used in a 1970s picture he'd worked on). Each time they had a finished piece it had to be sent to the lab to be printed before they could see if it actually worked.
It's hard to believe that what would become Risky Business' most famous scene consisted of just one line in the script - 'Joel dances in underwear through the house'. The sequence was meant to signify the character's new found freedom and independence, and while Brickman considered it a key moment for the character, he felt it was no more or less significant than any other part of the film. He had an idea of what it should consist of, and although he suggested that Joel dance around to the Bob Seger track Old Time Rock and Roll, he was equally happy to allow the actor to choose his own music. Cruise went through tape after tape but kept coming back to Old Time Rock and Roll. The duo got together one Sunday, when both actually had the day off from filming. They talked and walked through some ideas and decided to use the whole house rather than just one room.
Joel's entrance, in which he slides into view, took some experimentation to get right. Cruise tried it without socks, with socks and at one point even bounced into shot by way a mini-trampoline. Brickman liked the slide entrance but the actor kept sliding past his mark. In the end Cruise waxed half the floor and left the other untouched, this allowed him a smooth entrance and a perfect stop. Various props were placed around the house and Brickman told his young actor to 'go wild'. Each time they rolled, Cruise tried different things, adding more and more as he went. All up the sequence took around half a day to shoot and ended up becoming one of the most iconic of the entire decade.
Risky Business shot for fifty days in total, and while the cast and crew moved on to other projects, the director began the long task of assembling his edit. Work had also begun on the soundtrack; in truth that had commenced at the script stage, with Brickman choosing particular tracks that he thought would fit well with certain scenes. During the extensive casting stage he'd heard the Phil Collins song, In The Air Tonight and knew it had to be in the picture. It would become Lana's unofficial theme, its sadness paralleling her's. For the instrumental tracks, electronic group Tangerine Dream were commissioned.
Work continued apace and a couple of additional scenes were shot in the January of 1983, the section with Lana talking while Joel plays with his train set being one of them. Cruise had to fit the extra work in between filming on his next movie, the sports drama All The Right Moves. Eventually, with the mix and soundtrack still to complete, the film had its first screening at the Writers Guild. The overall result was positive, but Warner Bros and Geffen disliked the ending, feeling it was bittersweet and would leave cinema-goers on a downer. Brickman stood firm, and refused to alter it, stating that to do so would change the entire message of the piece. Neither side would back down and a long and protracted battle began.
The studio continued to push for a new ending and things turned ugly over the next six months. Warner Bros. threatened to fire Brickman while he was still working on the film's mix, and hire someone else to shoot a new ending and complete the work. In amongst all this turmoil, the first Tangerine Dream tracks arrived - and they were far from what the production team had hoped for when they’d hired the band. Instead of using their own unique sound, the group had attempted to emulate a 1950/60s teen movie soundtrack. Brickman and Avnet were unsure how to proceed, and even discussed the possibility of scrapping the Tangerine Dream stuff and hiring a new group. Instead, whilst still in the midst of battle with the studio, the pair flew to Berlin and met with the musicians. Over the course of ten nights (the band preferred to work from 6pm into the early hours) they reworked the soundtrack, using new and existing material.
The fight with the studio continued, but a breakthrough was ultimately made. A new, more upbeat finale was shot, and Warner Bros. agreed to test the movie with both endings (whether this is how they convinced Brickman to shoot the new end ending is unknown). A screening in San Diego saw the audience side with the studio, and that as good as sealed the deal for them. The director later stated that any other night, with any other audience, it could have easily gone the other way. As a result of the struggle, the studio refused to hold a premiere or even throw a cast and crew screening.
The marketing of the movie was difficult too, and the first poster, depicting a cartoon version of Tom Cruise in a bed full of girls surrounded by money, made Brickman question if the studio even knew what the movie was about. He suspected they thought (or hoped) that they had their own version of Porky's. He ended up taking the shot of the actor in his sunglasses that was used for the basis of the poster. The studio attempted to alter that too by giving Cruise a 'cheeky' wink. The director hated it and versions of his own shot were used to market the film. While he may not have been happy with the ending, he was incredibly proud of the picture and just prior to its release, went out to dinner with Cruise and De Mornay (who were now living together) and told them all their lives were about to change forever.
Risky Business was set to open in August 1983. A low budget movie with no major stars, made by a first time director that contained themes of capitalism and prostitution. It's probably safe to assume that Warner Bros. would have been happy to break even on the picture. The fledgling stars did their best to sell the film on the talk show circuit but what really got people's interest, initially at least, were the reviews. Risky Business earnt some of the best notices of any film released that year. All involved were singled out for praise, and many reviews noted the fantastic chemistry between its leads. Roger Ebert was equally impressed with Brickman's ear for dialogue stating that he 'has an ear so good that he knows what to leave out. This is one of those movies where a few words or a single line says everything that needs to be said'. The Tangerine Dream score came in for positive word too.
The film debuted on August 5th and had to contend with a number of major releases - many of which shared the same demographic. National Lampoon's Vacation was enjoying its second weekend in the number one spot and Trading Places, Class, Staying Alive and Private School were all still at more theaters than Risky Business would open in. And while Krull and Return of the Jedi weren't direct competition, they were still pulling in the crowds, the latter now in its eleventh week of release and showing little signs of slowing. On that opening weekend at 670 locations, Risky Business made an impressive $4.2M and dropped into third place. A week later, and with word of mouth spreading, it actually increased its takings, making $4.5M. In less than ten days the picture had recouped its budget. Buoyed by success, Warner Bros. added 198 screens for the third weekend and saw another rise in takings over the previous frame, though it was held off the top spot by new release, Easy Money.
After a month on general release, Risky Business had made almost $30M with barely a dip in week to week takings. Now at over 1100 locations, it saw a massive boost in its fifth weekend, making $6.3M (an increase of 31% on the previous frame). All told, it remained in second place for seven weeks and crossed the $50M threshold in week nine. The film stayed in the top ten for an incredible twelve weeks and didn't disappear until mid-November. When the dust had settled, Risky Business had made $63.5M in North America, against a budget of $6.2M and made Tom Cruise a star. It went on to become the tenth biggest movie of 1983. Like many releases of the time, it enjoyed an extended life on the home video market and influenced all manner of films and film makers.
While they'd been making the picture, Jon Avnet had been convinced the soundtrack was revolutionary, something that David Geffen disagreed with. He disliked many of the tracks they'd chosen and had even suggested they 'drop the dinosaur music' in reference to a Led Zeppelin track that had originally been chosen for one scene [it was replaced by the Talking Heads track, Swamp, which did actually contain the words risky business]. Initially the soundtrack album wasn't release in North America, but when imports (and pirated copies) of it went on the rise, Geffen officially put out the album. Bob Seger's Old Time Rock and Roll, which had been a very minor hit upon its release in 1979, found a whole new generation of fans. Similarly, Tangerine Dream would state that 60-70% of their future success was as a result of working on Risky Business.
For Paul Brickman, with success came the attention, and in his own words, ‘I had Hollywood coming at me full throttle'. He left Los Angeles almost immediately and did his best to keep everyone at arm's length. Even when studios sent him gifts and threw countless scripts and offers at him, he continued to resist, turning down the likes of Forrest Gump and Rain Man in the process. It would be seven years before he returned to directing, with Men Don't Leave, a remake of the French film La Vie Continue. It starred Jessica Lange, Chris O'Donnell and Joan Cusack, and was produced by Jon Avnet. It barely registered at the box office, earning only $6M off a budget of $7M. He went on to contribute to the screenplay for the Clint Eastwood film True Crime in 1999. In 2001 he co-wrote the TV movie Uprising, again with Jon Avnet (who also directed). His only other credit in the last ten years has been on the short, Allison.
Jon Avnet went on to produce a great number of movies, TV shows and shorts, as well as finding time to write and direct in between. In the 1990s he made Fried Green Tomatoes, The War and Red Corner, while producing the likes of The Mighty Ducks trilogy, George of the Jungle and Up Close and Personal. In recent years he's worked primarily in television, directing a number of episodes for the show, Justified. Steve Tisch stuck with producing, working on Big Business, Soul Man and Bad Influence in the 1980s. He would later co-produce Forrest Gump, The Long Kiss Goodnight and The Weather Man. Most recently he produced the Jake Gyllenhaal drama, Southpaw and the Denzel Washington actioner, The Equalizer.
Curtis Armstrong moved on to further success with Revenge of the Nerds (and its two sequels) and opposite John Cusack in Better Off Dead. A recurring role in the TV show Moonlighting, as Herbert Viola, is the role for which he is probably best known to people of a certain age. He has continued to work primarily in television, amassing well over 75 credits in the likes of The Closer, Supernatural and New Girl, as well as the animated works Dan Vs, The Emperor's New School and Robot & Monster. Bronson Pinchot had a memorable cameo in Beverly Hills Cop (which he reprised for the third movie) before appearing in the long running TV show, Perfect Strangers. He has continued to mix TV and movie work, and recently appeared in the Liev Schreiber show, Ray Donovan.
In the years following Risky Business, Rebecca De Mornay took on a number of different roles, but struggled to find the same level of success. She played opposite Jon Voight in the well received (but criminally under seen) Runaway Train, before switching to the likes of Beauty and the Beast and a misguided remake of And God Created Women. The early 1990s saw a string of successes for the actress, particularly her villainess role in The Hand That Rocked the Cradle. Backdraft, The Three Musketeers and Guilty As Sin all provided further chance for De Mornay to show her range. In recent years she's appeared in Lords of Dogtown, Wedding Crashers and gave another menacing turn in Mother's Day. In 2012 she appeared as Finch's mother in American Reunion.
As for Tom Cruise, he followed up his success with All The Right Moves, before being absent from screens for almost two years thanks to an extended shoot on Ridley Scott's Legend. However, if Risky Business had made the actor a star, his role in the 1986 action drama Top Gun, shot him into mega-stardom, from which he has barely looked back. While that film became the most successful of 1986, Cruise was earning his dramatic chops opposite Paul Newman in Martin Scorsese's The Color of Money. Two years later he appeared with Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man and won much acclaim as Ron Kovic in Born on the Fourth of July. Even lightweight fare such as Cocktail and Days of Thunder made money.
Ron Howard's Far and Away, in which he starred opposite then wife, Nicole Kidman, was something of a misfire, but Cruise followed this up with back to back hits A Few Good Men, The Firm and Interview with the Vampire. In 1995 he appeared in action thriller Mission Impossible, which began a franchise that is still going some twenty years later. He changed tactics yet again, winning awards and box office for his work on Jerry Maguire (which was heavily influenced by Risky Business and Joel Goodson according to director Cameron Crowe), Eyes Wide Shut and Magnolia, which some claim is still his best performance to date. He worked again with Cameron Crowe on Vanilla Sky before joining Steven Spielberg's ambitious science fiction picture, Minority Report. Even 'lesser' hits such as Collateral and The Last Samurai cleared over $100M apiece.
Cruise reunited with Spielberg on War of the Worlds in 2005, which at the time of writing remains the actor's most successful picture in North America. A year on saw the second Mission Impossible sequel, but by that point, issues in his private life were beginning to overshadow his career. Lions for Lambs in 2007 was seen as a low point and pretty much his only out and out flop (Ensemble musical, Rock of Ages aside). A split from long term agent and production partner Paula Wagner didn't help matters either. Like a number of actors, Cruise subsequently found his success abroad overshadowing that in North America. Knight & Day, in which he starred opposite Cameron Diaz stretched to $76M domestically, yet overseas earnt a staggering $185M. Jack Reacher, Oblivion and the fantastic Edge of Tomorrow all followed that same path, with the latter clearing $269M. With the massive success of the fifth Mission Impossible movie, Rogue Nation in 2015, Tom Cruise arguably remains the biggest film star in the world.
To this day, Paul Brickman maintains his ending to the film remains the stronger one. It would be 30 years before an audience got to see his version when it was screened intact to mark the film's anniversary. While the fashions have aged somewhat, the themes within the picture still resonate, and seem as relevant as they ever did. Similarly, its soundtrack may be very much of the time, but that doesn't detract from how impressive it still sounds. The iconic dance sequence is still emulated (and spoofed) to this day. By trying to create more than just another teen movie, Risky Business continues to find fans and remains one of the best movies of the decade.
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